class action suits: to join or not to join

Hello all,

Recently I recieved an email letting me know that by filling out a form, I will recieve a check from a settlement made by a certain large corporation. To be honest, I only used their service once and had no problem with it, but because I used it during a certain time period, I am elligible to get a cut of the settlement money.

The settlement is in two parts-- one chunk of money to be divided up between people who actually submitted complaints to the corp. during the time period, and one for folks like me who just used the service.

My first instinct is to ignore the whole thing, but then I thought how much we could use any extra money and the way the settlement reads the corp is out the same amount of money no matter how many people make a claim. So Dopers… is it morally irresponsible for me to take this money? Why or why not?

I received the same PayPal email and deleted it. I have not been harmed by this company in any fashion that I can imagine (other than they make it easier to spend my money), so to me it would be inappropriate to take the money just because I can. This was a settlement on the part of PayPal, so no judgement was rendered. I guess it’s just a matter of your own personal moral decision.

I was offered membership in one class action involving Whirlpool, and declined. I felt that their actions went above and beyond, once they found the design error that needed repair, and felt that the ‘class’ was just a bunch of whining jerks looking to squeeze a few bucks from an otherwise decent company.

I agree with Chefguy on saying it’s a personal moral decision, and very much dependant on the circumstances. If you feel you were wronged by the company, take the money. If you were happy with the service, but find out (via the Class Action suit) that you had been cheated in some way, I’d say take that money too. If you feel that the company did a good job and should not have to pay for their actions, don’t join.

Of course, there’s also the option of taking your cut and giving it to charity. If the settlement amount is fixed and only distributed differently when you join, then that could be a reasonable action as well. That might have been a better choice for me and Whirlpool. I take money from the whining Class and give it to someone who needs it. Well, that idea came 3 years too late! :smack:

We got the PayPal email today too. Not filing because the Mr. has never had any problems with it (I’ve never used it).

Plus chances are your cut will be something like $3.18 anyway, so why bother.